Friday, January 19, 2018

In Pictures: NYC

I've been having to do a bit of traveling these last few months for family reasons. Sometimes the trips can just be stressful and draining, but my recent trip to NYC ended up being so rejuvenating! I was able to spend two days of the trip exploring a few museums on my own. After 2 months of what felt like solid hustle, making gifts, and preparing for Christmas, it was wonderful to have some time to sneak away to feel inspired and reignited. It's been a crazy start to the year, but I'm so happy to have a few months at home before any other major plans come up. Next week, I'll probably get back into the hustle of making, making, making. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Bookshelf Quilt

This was the final quilt I made for the 2017 holiday season! There was another half square triangle quilt I'm skipping over, but I didn't get great photos of it before sending it off. Next time I'm at my parent's house, I'll try and grab a few shots. I didn't share what I have over on Instagram so go check out @themorosebee to see it.

Anyways! The bookshelf quilt. I'd been planning to make this quilt since last spring, but I saved it for the last one. I made it all over the course of a week and, it was such a mad dash to get it done, I didn't take pictures of every step of the process.

I tried to discreetly ask my uncle what his favorite books were earlier in the year so I could utilize photo fabric for some of the book covers. They looked so lovely and bright when I first printed them out, but they didn't hold the color very well. You can see them start to fade in later photos. This is the same product I used in my Frida pillow last summer and the black & white pictures help up much better.

Other than needing more fabric for some of the border panels and the back side, I didn't buy any fabric for this quilt top. Using up a bunch of scraps was so great! I debated keeping a particular color scheme or pattern, but I liked the idea of keeping an almost vintage vibe to it. 

Assembling each shelf actually went pretty quickly! I've never done piecing quilt like this before, but it was simple enough. I did not use any kind of pattern or instructions and each shelf more or less came together somewhat organically. The leaning books were the hardest! I just kinda figured it out as I went. I probably could've looked something up, but I made it work.

The finished quilt just after finishing it! I was deliriously tired at the time of taking this photo! I pulled an all-nighter to get it done on time to give as a gift. I was also super worried in my exhaustion that I had messed something up, but upon review the next day the quilt still looked great to me!

In some of these close ups you can really see how the photo fabric faded. I followed all of the preparation instructions that came with the roll of fabric so I'm not sure if I did something wrong. They were still visible enough that he could tell which books I used so I hope it just contributes to the vintage-ness of it all.

I'm not gonna lie...I am pretty exhausted from all the quilt making! I will definitely be taking a break from quilting for a bit to work on some other projects. I'm so proud of my work, but excited for a change! I hope to have some quilts posted for sale by this summer after I take a short break!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Shop Update: Zipper Bags Are Back In Stock!

This zipper bags are super fun to make and, personally, feel like their the perfect size for travel bags, make up bags, pencil bags, etc. I have a bunch back in stock in The Morose Bee Etsy shop. I'll be making more and adding new designs over the course of the next couple of weeks! Click here to shop what's new.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Pokeball Quilt

I've been sharing photos of all the Christmas quilts I made on Instagram, but I still enjoy the process of sharing more in depth on ye olde blogge. Looking back, it seems so crazy that I made so many this year! This one was the second quilt (out of 5) that I made as gifts for people lately. This time around it was an 8-Bit Pokeball Quilt for my nephew. I knew I wanted to make a Pokemon something-or-other and when I found the 8-bit pokeball image I knew it was good place to start.

Making this quilt went SO QUICKLY! The Americana quilt was very very labor intensive and half square triangle quilts have a lot of steps involved so I think just doing squares caught me off guard at how fast it was to assemble. I debated doing 8-bit versions of actual Pokemon characters, but I was worried the quilt would get out-of-control huge.

I've stopped trying to make quilts to fit a certain size and have just started going with a design and seeing how big they end up being from there. I just add on elements based on how much bigger it needs to be to at least be cozy enough to curl up with on the couch. I could have done more on the border, but I like the simplicity of it. I almost bought Pokemon branded fabric to add to it, but I'm really glad I didn't! I feel like keeping it in limited colors makes it a bit more mature looking incase my nephew starts to outgrow the Pokemon thing.

I have 2 more quilt processes to share and then I'm done with all my handmade goodies for the 2017 Holiday Season. It's been such a learning experience and so much fun! I'm definitely QUILTED OUT and looking forward to making some other types of things next!

Hope every is having a happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A New Swap: Totally 80's!

If you don't follow Bee Creative Swaps on IG then you may have missed the news. A few weeks back we did a contest to pick our next swap theme and after 7 theme suggestions and quite a few final votes, the winner was The Totally 80's Swap! It is now officially open for sign ups and will be until January 15th.

You can see previous types of things I've made for other swaps we've done HERE, HERE, and HERE as examples. I have a lot of other posts from YEARS of doing these swaps so these are just a few. We welcome makers of all types and full instructions are on the swap sign up form.

Whatcha waitin' for? Click here to sign up!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Americana Quilt

About a year ago, I was graciously given an entire car full of a friend's grandmother's quilting supplies. Her name was Charlotte and she passed away leaving a loving family with some beautiful quilts and SO. MUCH. FABRIC. A few family members took a few things like the nicer machines and I was given everything that was left. It filled my car from floor to ceiling everywhere except the drivers seat. It took several weeks to go through everything. There were patterns and partially finished blocks and lots of scraps and quilting catalogues from the 90s and so much other stuff. 

In the pile I found a photo of this Texas quilt layout as well as some of fabric and a few partially completed blocks. I'm not sure if Charlotte made this quilt and took it apart or made some blocks inspired by someone else's quilt, but I knew I wanted to do something Americana and similar to it.

I spent a long time rearranging what was partially made, figuring out how to replicate more of what she has made to complete patterns and doing a lot of research on traditional quilts. It was super fun and definitely a huge learning experience. Also, because I was making it sort of freestyle, figuring out how to fit it altogether was a challenge. 

I finished the quilt top in December of 2016, but ended up packing it up not long after because we were planning on moving to California. It was a little wonky and uneven in some parts where I tried to recreate certain blocks, but I still loved it. A few of the block were signed by what I'm assuming where Charlotte's friends who gave or swapped a few quilt blocks with her. It made me a little teary to hope that I was carrying on someone else's work!

 Once we got settled in San Francisco, I started working on this quilt again in the hopes that I could get it done as a Christmas gift for it's intended recipient. I did the back using only scraps of fabric in a similar color scheme. This is about the time where this quilt started to be the bane of my existence! So many pieces and details and so much stress about how to quilt it and basting it was a workout in itself.

I decided it was so big and heavy that I wasn't going to quilt the entire thing and that I would only do segments. Essentially any area that was blue, green, purple, or black was quilted with dark blue, a few red areas were quilted in red, and then a few white or beige areas were quilted with white. One can only do so much with no long arm machine! One of this days I'll pay for professional quilting services, but this was not that day!

I was so pleased when it was finished! The only thing that really bothers me is the one super crooked row of small flying geese, but this is the first quilt that I've done flying keeps so I guess I won't beat myself of too bad! All I could think about is that I hope Charlotte would be happy with what I've done with her work.

I actually made quite a few quilts this year for Chanukah and Christmas and will be sharing them slowly over the course of the next week or so. Man oh man did my post office bill start to rack up! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and has a wonderful New Years!